Dustin Johnson insisted he was back to full strength this week from the staircase incident during the Masters. However, the No. 1 player in the world admitted the injury kept him from practicing while on the sidelines. Returning from a month-long absence at the Wells Fargo Championship, most envisioned a bit of rust in Johnson's performance. Judging by the Round 1 leader board, that wasn't quite the case.
In his first competitive round since the accident, Johnson fired a two-under 70 in Day 1 at Eagle Point to put himself in early contention.
"As far as physically, no issues," Johnson said. "I just need to get some rounds in, get some more reps, but I feel like the golf swing's in good shape. If I hit it like I did today the next few days, then I'll be right there on Sunday."
Make no mistakes, there were certainly missteps, with two bogeys on the card. Still, Johnson hit his first 10 greens on way to an impressive 16 of 18 greens in regulation on the day. Perhaps more importantly, he showed no lingering issues off the tee, swinging freely and without hinderance.
Johnson's two-under mark was good enough for a T-6 in the Wells Fargo morning wave.
The 32-year-old enters Wilmington as winner of his past three events. On the season, Johnson has five top 10s in seven appearances, and leads the tour in earnings, strokes gained, driving distance and FedEx Cup points.
Francesco Molinari has the early lead thanks to a six-under 66, with Alex Noren one behind.